5 Cheap Green Things Everyone Should Own

Brief and Simple - the question I'm most asked these days is How Can I Be Green? It's not hard - in fact, it's really simple - just think before you do a few things.

Every day I see county employees pour water, coffee or prepare oatmeal or grits in a polystyrene foam cup. Everyone is guilty, including me I admit, of picking up a plastic throw away bottle of water or going by McDonald's for a cup of sweet tea. Yet, wouldn't it be a lot better if I just drank water (I keep telling myself that) with a dash of lemon and use one of those reusable bottles for water that I've already purchased? Geez, I try to save money on groceries and I try to be green, yet convenience wins out and I spend money on bottles of water! Doesn't make much sense does it?

Recently I taught a number of classes as Susie Litter in Jackson County, Jefferson and Commerce City Schools and we talked about reusable instead of throwaway bottles for water. Most of the children in the school systems carry bottles of water to school. We discussed the wise use of our resources and realized if they carry a new bottle of water to school each day - that's $180 for the year where a reusable bottle might cost $15 if they had to replace the bottle three times in a year so which really makes sense where parents are concerned?

So I'm listing just 5 green staples that are absolute musts - simple, cheap and readily available - if you want to be the least bit green, make an impact on the amount of stuff thrown into the landfill and if you want to save major energy and you'll be making a world of difference in your stay on Mother Earth.

Thermos / Mug / Water Bottle


Told you this one would be really easy - buy a thermos/mug/water bottle you can carry around and fill up with water or coffee at various establishments will cut down on phenomenal amounts of waste over the years-especially if you drink as much water/sweet tea/coffee as I do.

Tote Bag


Put an end to the paper or plastic eco conundrum once and for all - get yourself a reusable tote bag and don't let either pile up in landfills.

Clothesline


I used to love to go out and sit under the clothesline while Mama hung the clothes out to dry. Yes, you have to be ready to run if it begins to drizzle, but there is absolutely nothing better than the smell of sheets that come off the clothesline. We're used to convenience and expedience and the clothes dryer has become a staple of the American home. But it shouldn't be. Why pay for and suck down electricity (or fork over a bunch of quarters at the Laundromat), when you can dry your clothes for free? Sure, it might take a bit longer, but using a clothesline is cheaper and greener and the clothes smell so good when they come off the line. OK, they are a bit more wrinkled, but you could soften them up with just a few minutes in the dryer and those faded or shrunken t-shirts? They'd be a thing of the past. Air drying does not shrink clothes.

Smart Strip


These little surge protectors will stave off the effects of vampire power - how plugged in appliances drain electricity even when turned off. Smart strips vary in affordability, with some models priced as low as $14.95-and the savings in electricity will more than make up for the cost. These are a must for any green home.

Water Filter


Combine this with those reusable water bottles, and you'll never have to buy bottled water again. This is one of the most important items every environmentally conscious soul should own-it turns your tap into an endless fountain of fresh tasting water, and cuts the waste out of your water.

See, I told you it would be simple!